At about the halfway point of Phase 1 of The Passport Party Project, I started thinking about all of the emails flooding my inbox from parents...about their daughters that weren't getting their first passports or participating in global awareness parties or getting awarded with trips to Belize, and I got a bright idea. (That can be dangerous…LOL)
When I think back, my bright idea was also inspired by how much physical movement was in my life at the time and how much I was looking forward to being still, in spite of how much I enjoy moving about.
I was writing for an American Airlines Web site and getting paid in airline tickets, so I was traveling internationally non-stop. #punintended
I was traveling around the nation gifting girls with their very first passports, so I was traveling domestically non-stop.
I was going to conferences, press trips, personal trips, winning awards, and changing my own life in the process.
Travel, travel, travel. I talk it, live it, breathe it, teach it. It is a lifestyle choice. It changes lives. But my non-stop life needed to stop. At least for a few months….
When I finally found myself re-rooted in January - after the trip to Cabo, in between the trip to D.C. and after 3 years of playing the pied piper of passports - I started thinking about how much more I had to learn about Oakland, the place I left Los Angeles for, and the place I now call home. The place I have lived since 1999. The place that is so culturally diverse that I don't know where else I could live and be as comfortable. The place that [insert bright idea here] resembles the world we live in. You could basically travel around the world without leaving Oakland, I thought.
Hey. Wait a minute…
An off-shoot of The Passport Party Project, Teen Travel Summit & Extravaganza Weekend is a two-day travel-ganza for a small group of local teens (girls AND boys) ready to travel and explore the world and its cultures without leaving their own backyards in a fun and educational way. Think: An Amazing Global Scavenger Hunt Race for teens.
And then guess what happened?
Visit Oakland and I talked about how we could empower local youth via some local Oakland travel fun and they immediately hopped on as a sponsor.
And so. On a date to be determined in the second quarter of 2015, but before the 10 girls from Phase 2 go to the Guadeloupe Islands to get their first passport stamps, the first Teen Travel Summit & Extravaganza Weekend will go down…in Oakland, California.
I think that's worth a hearty round of applause, don't you?
Full details are coming soon.
TTSE might be in a city near you sooner than you think!
What city do YOU live in?